Tucker and Jeff Buy a Wing On Walmart Marketplace - Part 1
Hey everybody, welcome back to MACkiteboarding Wing Wednesdays. Today we have a real fun one for you. We found what is probably one of the cheapest wings, not considering closeout prices. It's a wing that we bought from a Walmart.com Marketplace seller. I think they actually get it from Alibaba or something like that. It's some random Chinese knockoff sort of thing, but we figured we'd buy it, test it, review it, and give you guys the scoop on what this thing is. Maybe it's worth your money, maybe it's not. Then we'll let you know how it compares to some of our premium brands here at the shop.
Let's do the unveiling. This is going to be Part 1 of 2. We're going to do an honest review of this. It took three weeks, but it's finally here, so let's open it up and take a look. It shipped in a plastic bag, not in a box. It feels a little like Christmas here. The label on the plastic zip bag inside says "Foil Wing 4m", so not much branding. Let's open it up and get that bad boy out. The wing itself is in a drawstring backpack sort of bag.
To start off, it does come with a coiled leash. It's like a surf leash or boogie leash style, about 4.5 or 5 five feet long. Not too bad for a 4m wing. It does have a little swivel at the end. It's pretty decent construction.
Initial Thoughts on the Wing
When we ordered this, it just had "medium" and "large" options, but it does say 4m on the bag. Let's unfold the wing... the stitching looks kind of basic. Not bad, necessarily, but it's got one cross stitch on most things with a couple on the leading edge. It says "Seafard" on it. You can't let the name fool you, though. We're actually going to try this thing out.
It's got windows. They're a little canopy-stained. It gives you a tie-dye look, I guess. The first thing that sketches me out a little bit on this is we're in a cold environment, and this window material is that old style, stiff PVC. It's probably going to crack once it gets cold. We'll find out.
Let's see what we are working with for the inflation valve. I think that's an HP kind of SUP valve, but it's a little different than what we're used to working with on those, so I don't know if that's the same. It looks similar, but the valve itself is different. It looks like we have a one-point inflation. No dump valve, but it does have the hose cutoff in case you get a leak, so one of them stays inflated.
This is unique: we've got three handles on the leading edge. There are a bunch of loop handles on the strut. They're not too bad, actually. They're semi-rigid. It's a lot of handles to be switching between. There's a single stitch where the attachment is on the handle.
In terms of the material, it's an interesting ripstop. It feels different than a normal kite canopy. It looks like triple strand ripstop, but it's definitely a different texture. It feels a little bit more like a tent material, maybe. The leading edge feels legit, though, like Dacron.
Not to pre-judge, but the leash attachment looks a little sketchy. It's a couple of little tabs that are just stitched in with one stitch, maybe an inch total. Not to be biased on this, but I do see some flaws there. It's a little frayed and looks like we're already getting a little pulling off there, but we will see. The proof will be in riding it a few times. We might need to double leash this one with the anchor system in case it blows off of there. Well, let's go pump it up and see how it goes. Just looking at it now, it looks like it should work.
Thoughts After Inflating the Wing
We just pumped it up and had a couple of observations right off the bat. There is a small hole in the canopy. It looks like it was from the cap that was resting on it. The end of the cap was loose and it fits perfectly in the hole, so we think that's what happened there. The other thing that we've concluded is that there's no coating on the canopy material, so it could potentially absorb a little water.
We're definitely going to have creases in this plastic-style window over time, and it could even crack in cold temps. Other than that, it's what you'd expect from a lower-quality wing. The seams are all there, but they're not great. They're not clean and crisp like they should be; you get these weird joints where they don't quite match, and the stick-on nylon stuff they're using is kind of wrinkled up and haphazardly put on there.
Potentially the biggest thing, though, is that the baffle behind the strut is very shallow, so it doesn't really create a wing shape. They need that to create lift and create that forward drive to work like a wing should. With it being so flat, so tight through the middle, and so loose in the back, it's really more of a sail than a wing, to be honest. It's not going to have the power it should for its size.
In terms of performance, it's probably pretty lackluster. Any piece of fabric that can be held into the wind can be used as a sail, so I expect we might be able to get up and ride with it, but I don't have high hopes. That's what we're going to do next, though.
It was $499 and took three weeks to get here. This is Part 1. In Part 2 we're actually going to ride it and see how it performs. Maybe on the snow first, but we'll also get on the water. So come join us for Part 2. That should be where the rubber meets the road. We'll get you a full, honest review about this $500 Walmart/Alibaba/whatever wing. Stay tuned!
Contact Us Below: